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Other titles in the Suny Series, American Jewish Society in the 1990s series:
Jewish Choices: American Jewish Denominationalism (Suny Series, American Jewish Society in the 1990s)by Bernard Lazerwitz
Synopses & Reviews
Having a religious preference and expressing it via a denominational choice is a fundamental way Americans relate to their society. Similarly, American Jews have divided their religion into four parts — Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, and no preference Jews. This book focuses on how Jewish lifestyles are expressed through denominational affiliation.<P>The development of American Jewish denominations is viewed as more a matter of individual choice than family heritage. The characteristics of individual adherents of the three major denominations vary systematically as does one's involvement both in local Jewish 'communities and in the community-at-large. The authors show that as one goes from Orthodox to no preference Jews, the extent of religious expression, ethnic attachments, and Jewish community involvement declines. They project the distribution of denominational preference in 2010 and conclude with recommendations for those who wish to see Jewish identity survive and thrive in America.
Book News Annotation:
With pluralism the key to current debates over Jewish identity (although the term itself does not appear in the index), Lazerwitz (sociology, Bar Ilan U., Israel) and three colleagues analyze factors correlated with current and future trends in the permeable, major denominational affiliations of Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist, and "no preference" Judaism. Venturing beyond a sociohistorical overview and statistics (primarily those of the 1990 National Jewish Population Survey and a similar 1971 survey), in this third of the series, they make recommendations for sustaining the barely three percent Jewish presence in the US as a viable minority.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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